YEREVAN (TASS) – Armenia has no plans to review its relations with NATO, Presidential Spokesman Vladimir Hakopyan said on Thursday commenting on Yerevan’s refusal to participate in NATO’s drills taking part in Georgia.
“As for Armenia’s participation in the military exercises, the Defense Ministry has already issued a relevant statement,” he said. “There are no plans to review relations with NATO,” Akopyan added.
On September 4, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said that it had not applied for participation in NATO’s military drills in Georgia.
Armenia takes active part in military cooperation between the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states (also comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and maintains allied relations with Russia. However, the country has been developing ties with NATO in accordance with the Individual Partnership Action Plan and the Partnership for Peace program. Its cooperation with NATO involves peacebuilding, military medicine, personnel training and recovery programs for natural and man-made disasters. Armenian troops participate in NATO’s peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
At the same time, Armenia is unwilling to join NATO. On July 17, during a TV interview, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian was asked if there was a need to introduce changes to the country’s foreign policy. In response, he expressed doubt that NATO was ready to welcome Armenia with open arms. Sarkisan also pointed out that Turkey, with whom Armenia did not have diplomatic relations, was a NATO member.